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The Romanian Autumn of 2013 and the Return of Politics
The Romanian Autumn of 2013 and the Return of Politics

Protest against Mining Projects and Fracking in Romania: Actors and Discourses

Author(s): Victoria Stoiciu
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Geography, Regional studies
Published by: Südosteuropa Gesellschaft e.V.
Keywords: mining project in Roşia Montană;“#Unitisalvam” community;Romania

Summary/Abstract: In the autumn of 2013 the streets of 50 Romanian cities were taken over by thousands of people protesting against a draft law opening the way to a highly contested mining project in Roşia Montană, a village in western Romania. The draft law was not passed by parliament, but this was not the biggest achievement of collective action. The informal network of activists and citizens termed “#Unitisalvam” emerged as a result of the protests that continued to operate after street protests ended. In the contribution, the context in which the street protests occurred as well as the main actors and their discourses are highlighted. The article focuses particularly on the self-proclaimed “apolitical” character of the protest and the community “#Unitisalvam”. It seeks to identify the reasons and meaning of this label which cannot be understood without analyzing the broader context of the democratic decline and lack of trust in politics in Romania. Operating with the distinction between le politique and la politique, the author argues that post-communist politics in Romania is what Rancière called para-politics. The contribution further shows that the 2013 protests and the “#Unitisalvam” community are the premises for a return to “real politics” in Romania.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 56-69
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English